Chapter

The International Currency of <i>Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?</i>

Michael Keane, Anthony Fung and Albert Moran

in New Television, Globalisation, and the East Asian Cultural Imagination

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9789622098206
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207219 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789622098206.003.0006
The International Currency of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

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The advent of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Millionaire) marked out a new stage in the history of both the quiz-show genre and the international format trade. In blending audience participation, a gladiatorial atmosphere, and intense psychological pressure to choose between similar answers, the show reinvigorates the myth of the heroic challenger. Moreover, while Millionaire has multiple engines, the million-dollar prize, more than anything else, brands the show. This chapter looks at the genesis of the format of Millionaire and its global franchizing. It suggests that in contrast to high-cost brand formats whose internationalization has suffered from copycats, Millionaire is a model format: its copyright has been managed successfully and localization has been accommodated incrementally, that is, without moving too far from the original concept.

Keywords: Millionaire; quiz show; global franchizing; internationalization

Chapter.  4597 words. 

Subjects: Television

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